In this article, I want to share with you guys how we going to launch the beta for the Shop Wall Star service. Launching the beta is the most critical phase of any tech entrepreneur and I hope many of you brothas and sistas take this phase seriously and watch us hustle hard because we will be getting down like that. No matter what industry or sector your entrepreneurship goal take you, we brothas and sistas need to start learning how to test market and go beta and what’s what we about to break down here. The reason you want to test market because it is very expensive and devastating to launch a commercial product to find bugs and problems afterward. If you launch a buggy product, you going to have to take a loss on unsold products due to poor quality perception or even those who already bought it, you will have to recall your product and take a loss to fix the problem. That is what you want to avoid at all cost and that is what destroy new startups faster than anything else. So we are going to discuss our beta launch of Shop Wall Star which is the first product to come out of Swagg-Scientific and in first quarter, 2013. I thought it would be sooner we would have Shop Wall Star released but me and the 30 Rotten Dissidents were actually rewriting our process and using this project to refine our collaboration skills. But now we are ready so let’s get into how we going to launch the beta. Marketing Mobile Operations 101 Marketing mobile technology here in America is a new paradigm – let’s get that straight first and foremost between me and you. Mobile marketing involves physical interaction in the real world as real people have real mobile devices walking around. The goal is to first attract a real person attention then get that person to take immediate action with their mobile phone – that ain’t no walk in the park and require more than simple thinking. Again, brothas and sistas have to learn how to do worldwide research to pick up patterns and practices we can apply to our own hustles and for the hood. And no demographic on Planet Earth is more similar to African-Americans than developed Asian nations in high-density areas. You can believe in that silly Afrocentric crap all you want, but you need to look towards Asia if you really want to see what to do for African-Americans and empower the hood. And we have to look at Asia for successful mobile marketing practices. Suica is the contactless card used in Tokyo for the train and can be used as a prepaid card to buy food at c-stores and vending machines. They also have a mobile version of Suica which is the earliest form of NFC technology. I want you guys to check out their marketing as they been doing this for years: What you should notice from the videos above is they show the actually use of the contactless device in full focus and also show how it is incorporated into daily routine like eating, taking the train and buying grocery. There is no need to create commercials drilling people on QR codes and ish like that- just show the scanning of posters and show what happens as a result. Just like this classic Paypal commercial from Singapore: No sideway gimmicks or silly crap – show how to conduct a transaction and the whole process. That is why you see me always talking about how Japan and Korea love to break down the hustle in their videos while Black media act like they got some special secret sauce and ish. You are going to see us modeled ourselves just like the Asian media, breaking down exactly the process in a creative way. So that means having media that explains exactly how to use the Shop Wall Star server with a mobile device. Tell customers how to get a QR code reader, show them how to use it and scan a poster, and also get their product/service. Then for the actual merchants, we show them exactly how to create a shopping wall, show them customers using it and then how to fulfill the order. Talk about the process and show the process in action. Having a Story to Tell Remember that the target customer for the Shop Wall Star service is actual merchants who will create shopping walls to sell products and services to their potential customers. Now, how do you approach an actual merchant and tell them about your service? Most of them will naturally and instinctively act like they smarter than you, think you are some joker and try to tell you that you know nothing about their business to sell them anything. You don’t want to be confrontational when targeting businesses with your hustle. What you want to do is create personas with a story and this is extremely powerful, especially for business to business targeting. Give them a story that they can relate to and promote that story in your marketing and other material for business – however, you need to do it with style and class and it need to be well developed. The Shop Wall Star service has three personas we have developed to be part of our marketing efforts and I will explain them all. When you finish reading the next paragraphs, then you will see how powerful and important this topic is. So here are the three personas: Suki’s Soul Bowl Kitchen. This is a food truck ran by a sista that offers Japanese style bowl dishes but use soul flavoring. The current problem with food trucks are they are too popular and have long lines of people who are waiting to place an order and get their food. Suki’s Soul Bowl Kitchen is going to solve her long lines at food truck by having several QR shopping wall signs around her truck that let people take orders with a mobile phone instead of wait in line. They scan the sign for their meal and pay for it, she receive the order and like a numbering system, can alert them that their order ready. This allow people to create an order and sit around until their order is ready instead of waiting in long lines at food trucks. What Boys Like. This is a retail store ran by a young brotha who wanted to offer things he think males of all ages like to have that are cool. So he compiled a store featuring cool products and gadgets for boys and men as gift ideas and self-reward. His strategy for more sales is to display shopping walls at transit hubs and at events that cater to men like car shows and sports venue. If someone makes an order, the buyer will receive instructions on how to pick up their item at the store and will be offered additional services such as gift wrapping or impulse buys. Beautiful Kandi. This is a sista in the hood who was so impressed with successful Korean entrepreneurs running beauty stores in her Black community, she decided she going to be a successful Black entrepreneur operating a beauty store in the Korean community. So she build beauty product shopping walls and promote them all in Korean communities and operate as a mail order delivery service. So when Beautiful Kandi get an order, she uses a drop shipping service that ships the item directly to the customer and provide coupons for discounts on future purchases. Now, all three of these personas above has a lot of rich content and story that we can use in our marketing material to show our people actually doing something with the Shop Wall Star service. This allow merchants to connect with these personas and their business and vision their business using the Shop Wall Star in the same fashion no matter if they are a food truck, a retail shop or a beauty supply mail order service. Getting the Equipment Now, we are going to be out there in the streets promoting the Shop Wall Star service and I need the real equipment to display the shopping wall services. I purchased some fixtures from displays2go.com and still waiting on my order but if you guys know another web site to get this stuff, let me know. We ordered some X-banner stands without the banner and graphic printing because we can get that printing done anywhere when we are ready. The goal is to have the actual stands because I find them hard to find anywhere locally. Also we ordered some frames and wanted to try those out to see if we can scan properly. I’m also looking at backlight displays but waiting for our order to come through first to see if displays2go is worth doing business with. See, now we got real equipment for people to test with, we can show merchants how to setup shopping walls and they can try out our example shopping walls first hand with their mobile device. That’s also how you shut up cats who are doubting you when they see you real about your hustle and see you focus on getting customers not clowns who talk too much from the sidelines. Creating Time and Space to Market Now here is the interesting part – where are we going to market our Shop Wall Star service? Do I really want to be out in an open public area among people walking by looking at us weird? Even worse is the clowns trying to simplify our hustle like they could whip up what we done in 5 minutes and talking ish about QR codes like they invented it? Or do I want to market at a large gathering of brothas and sistas like a nightclub just to deal with broke, fronting and drunk characters all night who will never follow up? The best solution is to focus on invites only for the beta testing to bring around people who are mobile savvy and who can try out the service and give us the feedback we want. This is a beta launch and not time to show our behinds to the public and getting cats to admire us. The best places are actually free – we can do everything from reserving the Chik-Fil-A free conference rooms to local libraries or a bunch of spots during the spring with warm weather. But we need people who are somewhat familiar with using QR codes to beta test with and will focus on invites only. I’m mentioning this to you cats because I don’t want you cats trying to create a YouTube video talking about you put your stuff out in the middle of the subway station and cats started buying. The reality is every QR shopping video and if you look very closely at these videos – a majority of cats are just walking buy and not scanning anything. Try to manage your time and space and a specific audience who can really test your product with a level of expertise to report issues back to you and your crew to work on and improve upon. What’s Next The next step for the Shop Wall Star service is to create example shops using the three personas above. Then I will move the Shop Wall Star beta over to the Facebook group for the Shop Wall Star and ask people to join and watch our progress there. We will be using the Shop Wall Star Facebook page to show how to use the service and post progress of the beta program being conducted. It is also the place we get feedback from cats and answer questions about the hustle for other cats interested in trying to make this move we are doing. So that’s about it – everything from here is real action and real work.